Imamat Day

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Imamat Day is celebrated by Nizari Ismaili Shiʿi Muslims to mark the anniversary of the day that their present (Hazar) Imam succeeded his predecessor to become the Imam of the Time. [1]

Nizari Non-twelver branch of Shia Islam

The Nizaris are the largest branch of the Ismaili Shi'i Muslims, the second-largest branch of Shia Islam. Nizari teachings emphasise human reasoning, pluralism and social justice. The Aga Khan, currently Aga Khan IV, is the spiritual leader and Imām of the Nizaris. The global seat of the Ismaili Imamat is in Lisbon, Portugal.

Ismailism branch of Shia Islam

Ismāʿīlism is a branch of Shia Islam. The Ismāʿīlī get their name from their acceptance of Imam Isma'il ibn Jafar as the appointed spiritual successor (Imām) to Ja'far al-Sadiq, wherein they differ from the Twelvers who accept Musa al-Kadhim, younger brother of Isma'il, as the true Imām.

Shia Islam group of denominations of Islam which holds that Muhammad designated Ali as his successor and leader (imam), whose adherents form the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain

Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet.

The Aga Khan IV is the 49th Imam of the Ismailis, having succeeded his grandfather, the Aga Khan III on July 11, 1957. [2] His Imamat Day is therefore observed annually on July 11.

Aga Khan IV 49th Imam of Nizari Ismailism

Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV, is the 49th and current Imam of Nizari Ismailism, a denomination of Isma'ilism within Shia Islam with an estimated 10-15 million adherents. The Aga Khan is a business magnate with Portuguese and British citizenship, as well as a racehorse owner and breeder. He has held this position of Imam, under the title of Aga Khan IV, since 11 July 1957, when, at the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III. It is believed that the Aga Khan is a direct lineal descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, considered the first Imam in Shia Islam, and Ali's wife Fatima az-Zahra, Muhammad's daughter from his first marriage.

Aga Khan III 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili community

Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, Aga Khan III was the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili religion. He was one of the founders and the first president of the All-India Muslim League (AIML). His goal was the advancement of Muslim agendas and protection of Muslim rights in India. The League, until the late 1930s, was not a large organisation but represented the landed and commercial Muslim interests of the British-ruled 'United Provinces'. He shared Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's belief that Muslims should first build up their social capital through advanced education before engaging in politics. Aga Khan called on the British Raj to consider Muslims to be a separate nation within India, the so-called 'Two Nation Theory'. Even after he resigned as president of the AIML in 1912, he still exerted major influence on its policies and agendas. He was nominated to represent India to the League of Nations in 1932 and served as President of the League of Nations from 1937–38.

The recognition of the Imam of the Time is central to Ismailis' faith and belief. [1] Imamat Day provides occasion to reinforce this and to express gratitude to the Imam who, in keeping with the centuries-old tradition of leadership, provides guidance in matters of faith, and works to improve the quality and security of their lives. [1] [2] It is a day to reaffirm their spiritual allegiance to the Imam and renew their commitment to the ethics of their faith. [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Imamat Day Mubarak!". TheIsmaili.org. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  2. 1 2 "Introduction to His Highness the Aga Khan". The Institute of Ismaili Studies. 2010-01-28. Archived from the original on 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2010-07-05.